Mathematics departmental information

Mathematics is the language and tool of the sciences, a cultural phenomenon with a rich historical tradition, and a model of abstract reasoning. Historically, mathematical methods and thinking have been extraordinarily successful in physics and engineering. Today, they are used successfully in many new areas, from computer science to biology and finance. A Mathematics major provides a broad education in various areas of mathematics in a program flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of interests.

The study of mathematics is an excellent preparation for many careers; the patterns of careful logical reasoning and analytical problem solving essential to mathematics are also applicable in contexts where quantity and measurement play only minor roles. Thus students of mathematics may go on to excel in medicine, law, politics, or business as well as any of a vast range of scientific careers. Special programs are offered for those interested in teaching mathematics, in actuarial mathematics, the mathematics of insurance, or financial mathematics. The other programs split between those which emphasize mathematics as an independent discipline and those which favor the application of mathematical tools to problems in other fields. There is considerable overlap here, and any of these programs may serve as preparation for either further study in a variety of academic disciplines, including mathematics itself, or intellectually challenging careers in a wide variety of corporate and governmental settings. 


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